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Daily Archives: January 4th, 2012

Capitalist Crisis

CAPITALIST CRISIS – LONDON CONFERENCE

Fundamentals of Political Economy – Weekend School, January 21-22

11am-5pm. Room 2b, University of London Union, Malet Street, London.  
£10 waged, £5 concessions.

Lots of time for questions and debate! All welcome!

MEETINGS INCLUDE:

Labour theory of value – Moshe Machover

Political economy and the state – Werner Bonefeld

Money and finance – Hillel Ticktin

Against Keynesianism – Mike Macnair

In 2008 the banks crashed. States round the world bailed them out by borrowing money. Inevitably, this did not get rid of the crisis but rather gradually transmuted it into a crisis of the creditworthiness of individual states: today the crisis of Eurozone state creditworthiness threatens a new bank melt-down (which may already have happened by the time of this weekend school).

The ‘solution’ demanded by governments and the media is austerity. Creditors – ‘savers’ – must not be made to accept the losses: the working class, both in and out of paid work, must do so. Predictably, the result is an economic downward spiral – as seen in Greece, but coming now to the rest of Europe.

The ‘Occupy’ movement has represented a cry of rage but not put forward a clear alternative. The broad left, including the far left, has committed itself to Keynesian ideas – that states should borrow more and spend more and hope by doing so to grow ‘their way out’ of the crisis.

Understanding the unfolding crisis and proposing real alternatives requires us to grasp Karl Marx’s critique of political economy. But while education in the basics of Marx’s ideas was commonplace on the far left in the 1970s, today it has withered away: there are academics and theorists who ‘do’ political economy, while left activists and groups ‘do’ only campaigns.

The Weekend School aims in a small way to contribute to beginning to overcome this gap in the education of the left. We are therefore seeking to address fundamentals rather than to tackle the analysis of the crisis directly.

This conference has been organized by the CPGB/‘Weekly Worker’ but it’s wide range of speakers makes it very interesting to anyone who wants to understand capitalism’s present crisis.

Go here for the full timetable: http://www.cpgb.org.uk/

**END**

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Revolution

FAULT LINES OF REVOLUTION

CALL FOR PAPERS

Fault Lines of Revolution!
The Fourth Annual Conference in Critical Social Research

Friday, May 4th, 2012
Carleton University
Ottawa, ON

In the last year the world has witnessed many destabilizing movements against neoliberalism, austerity, and authoritarian regimes: Popular movements from Tahrir Square to Zuccotti Park of Occupy Wall Street have revitalized the belief in the organizational capacities of peoples to challenge authority and transform relations of power. Postcolonial struggles from those of the Athivasis to the Tamils have echoed the subaltern voices of the world. Imperial wars from Afghanistan to the Somali territories have stimulated discussions on popular armed struggle and renewed criticisms of imperialism. 

Neoliberal challenges to organized labour, from the continued neglect of precarious working conditions to policies of austerity, have in some instances united workers in defiance and solidarity. These movements are clearly challenging the status quo in different forms and diverse spaces. Yet it remains to be seen how these destabilizing forces will unfold, and whether they will provoke the fault lines of a much broader revolutionary shake-up.

In light of present global political economic context, we intend to re-visit theoretical and practical issues concerning these ‘revolutionary’ moments and spaces by asking critical questions:

    • What can be learned from (un)finished revolutions of the past?
    • How should the revolutionary moments of the present be unpacked theoretically?
    • What are the ideological inspirations (if any) of these revolutionary attempts?
    • What do today’s social movements have to say about relations of race, class, and gender?
    • How do feminist approaches to politics respond to these movements?
    • What are the implications of contemporary revolutionary movements?
    • Where does revolutionary philosophy stand with regard to the present moment of dissent?
    • What does the future hold in store given present environmental and ecological crises?

The Critical Social Research Collaborative (CSRC) is inviting academics, researchers, graduate students and activists to submit proposals for panels and individual presentations that explore the fault lines of revolution’ from diverse theoretical and methodological orientations in historical and/or contemporary contexts.

Please send your proposal, including an abstract of no more than 250 words, title, your name and a brief biography to the conference organizing committee at csrcproject@live.ca by February 20, 2012. 
Decisions on proposals will be communicated in mid-March. Accepted submissions may be solicited for publication.

The CSRC is dedicated to organizing inclusive events; there will be no registration fee.

Keynote Address by Professor Emeritus Michael Lebowitz, Simon Fraser University

The Critical Social Research Collaborative (http://www.csrcproject.ca) is an interdisciplinary research collective consisting of students, faculty, trade union and community activists based atCarletonUniversity. We aim to promote, support and create a platform for the sharing and dissemination of critical perspectives and research conducted on the defining social issues of our time.

**END**

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

Revolution

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Bonuses for Some

CAPITAL, CULTURE, COMMUNISM

Call for Papers: 2012 Marxist Literary Group Institute on Culture and Society, 06/25-29/2012, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver BC, Canada
Special Topic: “Capital, Culture, Communism
Deadline for Proposals: March 1, 2012.

The Marxist Literary Group’s 2012 Institute on Culture and Society (2012 MGF-ICS) will convene this summer on theVancouver, BC campus of Simon Fraser Universityon June 25-29. This year’s special topic will be “Capital, Culture, Communism.” How do these three “Cs” relate to a range of issues in contemporary politics and aesthetics, including:

* The recent uprisings in the Arab world, the assault on the welfare state in Europe and North America, the Occupy movement, etc. and how they are to be understood in today’s global economy
* The resurgence of religion and other cultural/national affiliations within world politics
* The ongoing necessity to develop adequate analyses of the economy
* The return to the language of “communism” in contemporary social theory and aesthetics
* And the ways in which past and present conditions and struggles are represented and, in turn, shaped by various cultural practices and modes of communication?
* Is there a distinctively capitalist culture? Is there a distinctively communist culture? Can one imagine a communist culture emerging from a capitalist one? How central is culture to capital and communism? Capital to culture? Can we perceive now the outlines of a future communism?
* What will remain of capitalist culture in a communist one? Do recent political events–Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, the global financial crisis—anticipate a future communism?
* Current politics, struggles and theories are of course wedded to older histories and theoretical models. How do Marx and other theorists define and represent capital, culture and communism? What is the value of these terms, on their own and/or in relationship to one another? How has the organization and functioning of capital changed? Stayed the same? What are the best strategies for representing capital? Communism?

Papers on these topics, as well as others, are welcome.
As always, submissions on other topics related to Marxism, including, but not limited to, Marxist considerations of literature or literary considerations of Marxism will be considered. Please also note that the reading groups this year will focus on primary (i.e. Marx/Engels) texts.

The Institute on Culture and Society is run in consecutive sessions, and the discussion is most fruitful when participants stay for the entire Institute. Housing is available on campus, and every effort is made to keep the cost of attendance low. Graduate student participation is subsidized by the Marxist Literary Group.

Proposals are welcome for:

Traditional panels
Individual presentations
Roundtables
Film Screenings
Performances
Reading Groups (on primary Marxist texts)

All proposals except panel proposals should be a maximum of 250 words in length, and should include title, author, and author’s affiliation. Panel proposals should include for each proposed paper a 250-word abstract, including title and affiliation, as well as a title and 100-word rationale for the session itself. Please send submissions (plain text or commonly used file format) by March 1, 2012 to: mlgics2012@hotmail.com

**END**

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Eisenstein

SITUATIONS: NEW SPECIAL ISSUE ON GLOBAL CINEMA

Dear friends and colleagues:

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new special issue of Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination entitled “Global Cinema: Cinéma Engagé or Cinéma Commericiale?”  This special issue contains ten essays on modern international films and cinemas, including those of Iran, Nigeria, Mexico, Romania, France, China, Argentina, and India as well as on contemporary film festivals and on films documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The special issue is available and freely accessible online at:   http://ojs.gc.cuny.edu/index.php/situations/issue/view/58

The issue has a global reach in its coverage of countries and regions of the world ranging from Hollywood’s own “Global Gaze,” to a placement of Nigerian Cinema as the equal of Africa’s modernist cinema, to Venezuela’s difficult negotiation of a Bolivarian cinema in a neoliberal context, to a questioning of the radical othering of Eastern European cinema whose concerns now seem much closer to those of the West, and, finally, to a tracing of a complex multiperspectival fashioning of the image of the Chinese peasantry in a moment when the distinction between city and country are rapidly fading.  The global reach of the issue extends as well to the range of theoretical positions used to examine contemporary global cinema, be it:  structural-materialist aspects of the questioning of the Israeli-Palestinian problematic; the integration of economic and aesthetic methodologies in a post-Adornian examination of the Cannes Film Festival; feminist and subaltern theory utilized to critique the patriarchal aspects of what is sometimes viewed as India’s most politically progressive cinema; a rereading and deconstruction of French radical workerist post-1968 cinema; and a linking of feminist and anti-colonial perspectives to highlight the way that in Iran Abbas Kiarostami’s Ten spotlights Muslim women’s emancipation. 

We hope you will peruse the essays, and look forward to your comments and critique.

Regards
Dennis Broe (Long Island University)
Terri Ginsberg (International Council for Middle East Studies)
Co-editors, Situations special issue on Global Cinema

 

**END**

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski